If the early bird gets the worm, the night owl gets the inspiration for works of art. At least that’s the case for pop surrealism painter Shannon Bonatakis.
The Columbus expat is showing new work at Rivet Gallery this month, her first appearance at the shop since fall of 2010. The series, which is titled “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” is inspired by her experience as someone who operates mostly after the lights go down.
“I like the stillness of night,” Bonatakis said, “the feeling of it.”
Leaving a day job as a graphic designer has let Bonatakis, who is a CCAD alumna, settle into a lifestyle of painting during unusual hours. Being awake while others dream has opened her up to new experiences, she said. Nighttime nuances, you could call them — like knowing what time the neighbor’s sprinkler turns on every morning.
The subjects of the show’s paintings and prints are also a nod to the title’s namesake prayer and Bonatakis’ relationship with its equal parts comfort and terror. “If I should die before I wake/ I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
“I remember being kind of afraid of it as a kid,” Bonatakis said. “Like, ‘What? I might not wake up?’”
Bonatakis is deft at relaying deep emotion in her work without being gratuitous. The feelings she means to evoke are obvious but understated. And while the highly-stylized art interprets thoughts that are universal, it is particularly apt at sharing a female experience in a modern, moon-lit world.
Sean Christopher Gallery Ohio
The two-month-long exhibit that opens this November Hop at Sean Christopher Gallery features portraiture and landscape photography by Upper Arlington photographer Brian Hyrne. A special section of the show is called “Merry Christmas, Mr. President!” and is a series of select — and kid-kind cropped — boudoir photographs of local burlesque bombshell Cherie Blondell. Stop by the gallery during the Hop between 7 and 8 p.m. this Saturday for a walk-in photo shoot opportunity with Hyrne.
Saturday’s Hop aligns perfectly with 83 Gallery’s annual All Saints Day Festival. To make the night extra special 83 Gallery standouts like Joss Parker, Arlo Moon and Brent Elam will be in attendance, and this month’s featured work is by local artists Jason Biundo and Brandon Ballog. Live music by Bosswood and Pink Flamingos. Beer by PBR. Champagne toast at 10 p.m.